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CBC: Rogers contracts push the envelope, lawyer says

Rogers costumers in fixed-term contracts have no choice but to accept rate hikes or pay steep fees to end their contract. Does this seem fair to you? If you are sick of telecom price-gouging, take action by signing our Stop the Squeeze petition and make the switch to an indy ISP. From CBC News: Some of the conditions that Rogers Communications imposes on customers in fixed-term contracts are legally questionable, according to an expert at the University of Ottawa. At issue is the company's practice of boosting service rates for things such as high-speed internet, home phone and cable TV, leaving some customers in fixed-term contracts in the unenviable position of either accepting the new prices or paying expensive fees to end their contract.

That "pushes the line of what is allowed legally," said Anthony Daimsis, a lawyer who specializes in Canadian contract law.

He told CBC's Marketplace that in terms of consumer protection, "it should simply not be allowed — it's what the law would call an unconscionable term."

Rogers stands by the practice, saying in a statement that "provisions allowing us to make changes to rates in our Terms of Service are fair to customers, are clearly disclosed and are in compliance with all applicable consumer protection legislation."

The company also says that customers who sign up for fixed-rate contracts are guaranteed a constant price for the duration of the term.

But customers who are on fixed discount contracts are liable to see their costs increase, if the overall rate Rogers charges for a particular service becomes more expensive.

Recent rate hikes

Many Rogers customers within the latter group were recently hit with a rate hike of $1 to $4 per month for each service they had signed up for. With home phone, cable TV and internet, together the increase could amount to an additional $96 per year.

The price hike has upset people like Barry Cook, who received a letter in the mail stating the price of his Rogers high-speed internet service was rising by $2 a month. Read more »


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